For many in the village, fibre broadband is becoming reality with some telephone lines already enabled. However, it appears that this benefit may not be available to everyone.
Here’s a simple explanation as to why: to get a fibre connection, your phone line needs two things:
- It needs to be connected to the exchange via a cabinet in the street, and
- The cabinet to which your line is connected has to be upgraded for fibre.
Some people’s lines are not connected via a cabinet, while others are connected via cabinets where there is uncertainty as to whether or not it will be upgraded.
The “Not connected to a Cabinet” problem (also known as Exchange Only)
A significant number of premises in parts of the village have historically been connected directly to the Exchange with no intervening cabinet. Without a cabinet it is hard to provide fibre broadband.
As of 8th November, it now turns out that BT Openreach has rerouted at least some “Exchange Only” lines through a new cabinet above the exchange on Greenway. It is not known if they have done all of them. You can check using the Line Checker box at top right. If yours says “You are connected to cabinet number 5 on the Blockley exchange” then you probably were an Exchange Only line which was changed at the end of October to being a Cabinet connected line, and it means that you can now order fibre broadband.
The Cabinet Not Enabled problem
Blockley has a number of different cabinets, serving different areas of the village and surrounding areas. According to various sources I’ve used, the current status (3rd January 2016) is as follows:
- Cabinet 1: near junction of St George’s Terrace and Station Road: Fibre is live, serving areas which include either side of Lower Street and Station Road, and Draycott Road as far as Sheafhouse Farm.
- Cabinet 2: The whole of Bourton-on-the-Hill and up to Batsford Arboretum: “Under Review”
- Cabinet 3: The whole of Draycott and Northwick Park: “Under Review”
- Cabinet 4: Bottom of Greenway Road: Fibre is live, serving areas between Park Road and the Shop / Hub
- Cabinet 5: New cabinet for Exchange Only lines: cabinet enabled late November 2015.
This means that plans for Fibre in Bourton-on-the-Hill and for Draycott and Northwick Park are uncertain to say the least.
This website was initially put together to try to deal with the Exchange Only problem in central Blockley, before I realised that those connected via Cabinets 2 and 3 have very uncertain options too. Much of the technical information contained in these pages relates to the central Blockley lines, but the links to line checkers, and the links to those you can contact to try to improve the situation are just as relevant to all.